Depending on your country of citizenship, you may require a visa in order to enter Canada. A Temporary Resident Visa will permit you to legally enter Canada to visit family and friends or to conduct certain limited business activities as a business visitor.
Foreign nationals who are citizens of certain countries do not require a Temporary Resident Visa to enter Canada, however, they may require an Electronic Travel Authorization before flying to Canada. Foreign nationals of all other countries must obtain a Temporary Resident Visa prior to entering Canada. Spouses and dependants of those who are temporarily residing in Canada might also be required to obtain a Temporary Resident Visa, depending on their country of origin.
A Temporary Resident Visa does not permit a foreign national to work while in Canada. When deciding which type of immigration document to apply for, the distinction between a Temporary Resident Visa and a Work Permit should be kept in mind. A Temporary Resident Visa allows a foreign national to enter and remain in Canada as a tourist. A Work Permit allows a foreign national to engage in employment in Canada.
Foreign nationals wanting to work in Canada are required to obtain a Work Permit. The foreign national may also require a Temporary Resident Visa should they wish to travel in and out of Canada. The requirement to obtain a Temporary Resident Visa will depend on the foreign national’s country of origin.
Should a foreign national who is already in Canada on a Temporary Resident Visa wish to commence employment in Canada, he or she must obtain a Work Permit from a Canadian Consulate, Embassy or High Commission abroad.
Types of Temporary Resident Visas
There are three types of Temporary Resident Visas, they are:
- Single Entry Visa – this allows the foreign national only one entry into Canada;
- Multiple Entry Visa – this allows the foreign national unlimited entry into Canada pending the validity of the Visa; and
- Transit Visa – this allows entry to Canada for foreign nationals who are travelling and who stop in Canada for less that forty-eight (48) hours, but who’s country of origin is one that requires a visa.
Foreign Nationals Exempt From Obtaining A Temporary Resident Visa
- Citizens of certain countries (click here to see if you are visa exempt);
- Individuals lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence;
- British citizens, and citizens of British dependent territories who derive their citizenship through birth, descent, registration or naturalization in one of the British dependent territories of Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, Pitcairn, St. Helena or the Turks and Caicos Islands;
- Individuals holding a valid and subsisting Special Administrative Region passport issued by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China; and
- Persons holding passports or travel documents issued by the Holy See.
Foreign nationals who plan to visit Canada for more than six (6) months, and who have resided in certain countries within a year prior to their arrival in Canada will be required to undergo a medical examination prior to being granted a Temporary Resident Visa.
For further information regarding the procedures for applying for a Temporary Resident Visa, please contact